Austin! Meetup! Yes!
Diaper Diarists Gone Wild!

DCFoodie, Jr.

Every other week or so, I start a post about Noah's eating habits. Even though I know there is nothing more futile than ranting about a toddler's eating habits. And nothing more boring than reading about a toddler's eating habits.

But surprise! That doesn't stop me! I grab the laptop, my sweet hot purring coping mechanism, and start blamming away on the keyboard because WHY! WON'T! MY! KID! FUCKING! EAT! ANYTHING! GAAARRGH! ANGRY! SMASH!

And then I get to the point where I list the pathetic cluster of foods Noah is currently accepting, and I calm down. Because you know what? It could be a lot worse. I might joke and say that he only eats two foods, but look! There are six or seven things on that list! Toss in a multi-vitamin and it's okay. We're doing okay.

So I wipe the rejected hummus from my brow, delete the entry and go on to face breakfast with a renewed determination and purpose.

Which brings us to today.

WHY!
WON'T!
MY!
KID!
FUCKING!
EAT!
ANYTHING!

(puts head down on laptop keyboaar348ooudfj;asd, weee3o3ps)

You want today's list of Things My Kid Will Eat? Here is the list of Things My Kid Will Eat:

- Cheerios
- Yogurt, but not from a spoon.
- Orange-colored cheddar cheese, but only on Thursdays.

Seriously. That is it. Unless you count our checkbook, half of which he ate today.

Our go-to foods (peanut butter on crackers, hummus, pureed fruits) are currently on the shit list, along with everything that requires a spoon. Put a spoon in front of his mouth and he'll twist his entire head around and weep, for spoooons! No spooooons!

I taught him to use the spoon himself and had great success for about two days, which is when the novelty wore off and he remembered: spoooooons! Haaaaate spoooooooons!

Anything that fails the Squish Test is hurled on the floor without a taste. (That is, anything that "squishes" or "mushes" when you suspiciously press your suspicious thumb into it = DO NOT WANT.) Thus, fruit and vegetables and pasta and bread and rice and meats are all out, and why cheese is often a hit-or-miss proposition.

Actually, Noah's on-and-off relationship with cheese is the first story I'll tell when I get back into therapy, since I think it correlates very closely with the Losing Of My Mind and Why I Think Mid-Day Drinking Is Way Misunderstood.

I bought some cheddar cheese snack sticks at Trader Joe's ages ago -- back when Noah was still eating anything and everything in front of him, and I was Great with Smug, for behold! My child eats Indian food! And falafel! No children's menu chicken fingers for US!** -- and Noah loved them. And all was good. Until I forgot to buy them one week. But I had some string cheese! So I gave him some string cheese.

And lo, Noah hated the string cheese. In fact, he hated it so much that when I tried the cheddar cheese a few days later, he refused to even taste it. For nothing would ever erase the trauma of THAT TIME I FED HIM STRING CHEESE.

I kept trying with the cheese, and finally he started eating it again. And all was good. Until I sent Jason to the grocery store one week. And he came back with a block of cheddar cheese instead of the snack sticks. But there is no difference! Plus it is cheaper! So I gave him some of that cheddar cheese.

Yeah. It was another month before Noah would eat cheese again. I...I don't know either, but I know I sprouted about three wrinkles just typing all that out.

Today I loosened the dog's collar for the third time in a month, since she's on a steady diet of waffles and Goldfish crackers and lentils and chicken and macaroni and peas and carrots and cereal bars and probably horked-up pieces of our checkbook.

We've had a few successes -- milk and yogurt smoothies are a hit, and he not only loves Trader Joe's Green Plant Juice, he loves it enough to let me sneak cartons of Gerber vegetables into it to further boost its veggie power. And...um...one time he ate a bug!

I read Linda's recent Toddler Eating Gaaarrgh Angry Smash post about Riley's habits (macaroni and cheese! what I would GIVE for a child who ate macaroni and cheese! or chicken fingers!**) and Katie suggested frozen vegetables, right from the bag. First I thought: gross. And then I thought: Squish Test! that will pass the Squish Test!

He ate handfuls of frozen corn the first day I gave it to him. Handfuls! And I wept with joy! I called Jason and immediately told him about how brilliant I was: corn! frozen corn! I totally thought that up myself and single-handedly, I have saved our child from rickets. Now please pick up some frozen peas on your way home; the ones in our freezer expired in 2003.

Now he's just shoving the corn and peas up his nose and in his ears.

So my question is: if something sprouts up there, should I just pull it out or use the weed-wacker?

No, haaa, I'm kidding. That is a joke. A very exhausted joke. My real question is...hmm. I don't know.  I don't even hope to win this fight, I just want to stop fighting. Since the fighting I've done has just made it so much worse. I've gotten mad, I've stormed out of the room. I've pretended that I don't care either way. I've begged and pleaded and applauded each and every bite.

Basically, this has become a Thing because he senses that it's a Thing and I've made it a Thing. I don't want it to be a Thing anymore.

How do I not make it a Thing?

I feed him all three meals most days and by dinnertime I am fleeing to the computer to ASK THE INTERNET FOR ADVICE. And that's the first sign of total flipping insanity, y'all.

And yet...

Do I keep trying? Do I keep offering new and/or previously rejected foods? Or do I just give him what he'll eat and be done with it? Do I go to every possible length to get a good meal into him or do I just (gulp) toss food down and let him and the hunger pangs sort it out?

Help me, Obi-Wan Internetobi. You're my only hope.

Well, except for my pediatrician. Or maybe a trip to the bookstore. Or even a decent Google search. But after that? Only hope. All the way.

**the Karma! it burrrrrns!

Comments

Meg

FIRST!!! I'm first!!!!

Now I'm going to go read!

Meg

My brother (he was born when I was 17 and lived with me for 4 tiresome years) went through this. Guess what Amy? He'll get hungry and he'll eat. It sounds like a power struggle to me... he's winning. Hee!!! He'll eat. Give him food. He'll eat it when he's ready.

Oh, and when in doubt, but purple food coloring in mashed potatoes! And stick a broccoli forest in it!

Liz

Hmmm, maybe most foods seem bland to him after eating the spicy foods earlier? I'm trying to remember, but I think when my girls were little they liked foods with lots of flavor like lasagna and pickles and hot peppers and pizza.

I know this is no help at all, but I wanted to say good luck and also maybe you are right about not making it a Thing.

Jill

I am totally with you on this. I have a 2 1/2 year old who will only eat cold pasta. He actually asks for "cold pasta, cold pasta, cold pasta". I tell myself it is okay because I buy the whole wheat kind.

Beth

Well... He's eating veggies.
My son eats anything that's brown. Brown toast, brown meat, brown crayon, brown anything. Brown...only brown. Just brown. Tomorrow we'll work on yellow. I'll try the frozen corn. Thanks

Sharon

Get the book Child of Mine by Satter. It has some really practical advice. One thing that works decently around here (today, anyway) is to put some new things on his plate along with something he'll eat. Then, I make sure I am also eating the new thing. Sometimes he tries and spits it out, and sometimes he likes it one day but not the next. At least its some progress. Hang in there - 2 is a really tough eating age - something about their tastebuds becoming more sensitive. I went through it with my 4-year-old and its just around the corner for my 19-month-old.

wilddreemer

crunchy cheetos won't squish. My son is addicted to crunchy cheetos. Also, he is addicted to these things called YoGo's yogurt covered jelly thingies, that don't squish...So anyway I called the doctor once when I thought Brandon had something shoved up his nose, and her advice made me shit myself laughing. Plug one side of his nose and blow in his mouth until you see if anything shoots out. Repeat on the other side. HAAAAAA. The worst part is I tried it. Wasn't pretty. Sooo, I vote Crunchy Cheetos...all the processed goodies will do something to help him stay sustained I'm sure. If you hate the idea of cheetos maybe pretzels or pita chips...those sound sorta healthy or whatever.

Teri

I sent you an email, but this is a big enough thing for me that I'm going to post a comment, also... I can't recommend Ellyn Satter's "Child of Mine: Feeding with Love and Good Sense" enough:

http://www.amazon.com/Child-Mine-Feeding-Love-Sense/dp/0923521518/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/002-1295496-1469669?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1173233589&sr=8-1

To paraphrase her thesis, you, the parent, decides what, when, and where your child eats, and Noah determines whether (or not) he eats, and how much he eats. It will require biting your tongue and sitting on your hands during mealtime, but it really will help.

Melody

what about rice? try sticky rice cooker rice. cooked in vegetable broth. that worked for us for a while. my daughter eats NOTHING most of the time. pasta. pb on whole wheat. if i'm lucky. a vegetable. tonite she gnawed on corn on the cob on you know..she LOVES red bell peppers..but only on Sundays.

carson

These posts aren't boring they make me and I am sure other moms feel blessedly normal... I actually know some toddlers who eat so I often feel alone in my food battles.
I have a 1 year old boy and a 3 year old boy both of whom change what they will tolerate/ eat on a daily basis. For a while I would congratulate myself when one ate something only to have it literally thrown at me and the dogs the next day. If it was up to them it would be cookies, toast and yogurt - and chocolate milk - three meals a day.
The 3 year old actually is a very good eater at daycare so the teachers say. So it appears this is a wicked game he reserves just for me.
Anyway I figure I am doing my job if I make the food and serve the food... eventually they will figure out it their job to eat the food. Perhaps I am fooling myself but it is what I cling to stay sane.

Cara

I have been going through the same thing with my son since birth (he is now 26 months old). He's never been a fan of nourishing himself. 0I have just learned to relax about it OR YOU WILL GO NUTS. Some days he eats very little, some days he eats more than I do. In the end it all works out. Never stop offering him a healthy variety... old faves and new things. It's tempting to break out the french fries and chicken nuggets out of desperation, but once you go there, it is much harder to go back to peas.

My son went through a similar phase at Noah's age and it was right before he started feeding himself exclusively. As with all phases, it will end. But just when you are getting your sanity back, he'll start another bad eating phase. Sure enough.

Aaaahhh, the joys of having a toddler...

Krisco

This is what I try to remind myself: they only need a decent meal once every few days or so.

Also, cold cereal will at least stave off starvation for another day, if nothing else.

kalisah

I say feed him what he'll eat but keep trying to introduce new foods. But what do I know? My Kid is almost 14 and STILL won't eat anything requiring a spoon - soup, cereal, yogurt.

Imaginary Grownup

FROZEN PEAS!! My mother fed me frozen peas instead of candy until I went to kindergarten and some teacher fed me M&M's and ruined that. But, I still, to this day, as a 25 year old, love frozen peas. A lovely, healthy snack. But I still love M&Ms too.

jodi

I have a son who will be two in a week (how is that possible?) And we went and are going through the same thing.

My ped told me you can expect 3 good meals a week from a toddler. This is what they do.

I really can't tell you to relax, b/c we have the same issues around here. In fact, most days Michael doesn't eat dinner. Tonight he had a melon ball and a cereal bar for dinner. I keep offering foods until he will eat something. I should probably give him one thing and if he doesn't eat it that's it. But I can't do that.

Sorry to make it all about me, but I am so there with you.

(Michael was also a great eater and would eat falafeel and indian food until about 18 months).

jodi

oh, and my dog gained 10 pounds in a year.

Isabel

I have no advice as I am currently in the "hooray, my kid will eat anything phase".

For dinner tonight he ate steamed carrots and our old hard buns that I toasted in an attempt to trick him into thinking they aren't "old", just "toasted".

I'm tricky like that.

Good luck!

Kelly

I asked my pediatrician some of the same questions. She said "don't worry" and "when she is hungry she will eat, just keep offering healthy foods"

That said I think these will pass the "squish test"

Veggie Booty/Fruit Booty
Frozen Raspberries
Fruitabu (organic fruit rollup)
Can Do Kid Nutrition bars


Chelsea

Quick sum-up:

Present healthy food, pick healthy food off floor, repeat without commenting.

Eventually he'll eat and he will be much healthier in the long run.

My best friend regrets giving in because she now has an eight year old telling HER what is for dinner. (Definitely not the future I wish on you!)

Amanda Cowan

My daughter went through a "nothing with a utensil" phase. And would eat most things that she could eat with her hands. Thats when we started avocado. I literally had to give it to her everyday for about a week before she decided that she loved it. But otherwise i can't help her. My daughter is 22 mos old and changes day to day on everything she likes..The only constants being yogurt (or any dairy), pasta, fruit (all fruit) and trees (broccoli)..oh..and crackers. So good luck!

Sundry

I am going to be haunting your comments for DAYS because every single thing I said Riley will eat is now on HIS shit list and gaaaargh.

Oh and speaking of gaaaaargh? Please read this comment and join me in a collective ARGH ANGRY SMASH: http://purplefruit.clubmom.com/purple_is_a_fruit/2007/02/acceptable_edib.html#comment-62322782 ("Like... OMG!"

Wendie Mudd

Lots of the above I totally get - mine is 2.5 and we have a lot of the same experiences here. But, I DO let him have pizza and chicken nuggets and french fries - because it's always accompanied by broccoli or green beans or apple slices. Yes, there are days when I think he is going to turn into a goldfish cracker. And I keep remembering that someone (maybe Erma Bombeck) said "Toddlers can survive on two cheerios and their own spit" or words to that effect. I look at W's chunky little legs and pokey-out belly and rounded cheeks, and I just know that he's ok.

Goldfish crackers are food, they are still on the pyramid, albeit in a small space. But they are food.

One thing that works well for me is that I put the veggies out first. While I'm preparing the other food. He almost ALWAYS gets a few bites down. I definitely stick to giving him the foods we are eating, and mealtime is a family time. He wants to do what Daddy does, so it's a great excuse to make my H eat veggies, too. W surprises me sometimes with what he will and won't eat, and he's only good for one meal a day. But like, pizza - we get it with lots of veggies, and dontcha know, he'll eat them! Unreal.

Good luck. You're a great mom. Hang in there.

Lisa M

Everyone is right on the money! Just keep putting a mixture of foods in front of him and he'll eat something. He won't starve himself. He's not old enough to think anorexia is a fashion statement. When my boys were little, I remember putting Hershey's syrup on vegetables to get them to eat something besides cheerios. It all turns out in the end!

Sundry

Hey, maybe I could even make that a link.

Sam

I was there ooooh about 5 years ago. He's six now and eats everything we put in front of him. There was the year of the yogurt, where the only thing (and I'm not kidding here) he ate was yogurt. Not just any yogurt, but YoBaby yogurt. How DARE we try anything else.

Then there was the year of frozen blueberries & mac n cheese. He ate that and nothing else for a year. (and btw, have you tried frozen blueberries? He lived off them. Made his poop blue even. Surprises in the diaper, anything better??)

I gave up on battling him pretty quickly, if only because he's more stubborn than me. His pediatrician told me many times he will eat when he's hungry, and only when he decides he wants to. And I had to give in and believe it because I didn't know what else to do. He ended up being right. I now have a very healthy six year old who loves random things like tortilla soup, and curry chicken. Don't make it an issue and it will work itself out. I just gave him the foods he liked at every meal and offered him other foods for snacks or times when I didn't care if he wouldn't eat the damn stuff. I hated having stressful dinners where we begged him to just.please.take.one.bite. You'll look back on this a year (or two, or three) from now and laugh at your obsession. I finally can.

Ida

I know others have already written this, but this is a phase. I am not promising how long, but a phase. Also, he will eat when he's hungry. Don't stress about it.

Cagey

Great balls of fire, I would be so fucked if Arun started spurning Indian food because that's all we cook at home - although for whatever reason what comes from his daddy's fingers is infinitely better than his mama's. But I still worry about volume - is he getting enough? Can he really subsist on bites here and there, cupfuls of soymilk/yogurt, catfood and air alone? Apparently, he can. Sigh.

So, yeah - we are in a similar boat with the "Oh, I had that LAST week - never again, SUCKER." behavior. Bleh.

The only thing that keeps me sane is that I read somewhere to focus on the "weekly" rather than the "daily". Meaning, is your toddler eating a wide enough variety of goodies on a weekly basis?

el-e-e

Hershey's syrup on veggies! great idea, I will have to try that! (Our son like ketchup for his green beans.)

don't stress. Next week it'll be different.

I can also suggest V8 Fusion. "a serving of fruit AND a serving of vegetables in every cup!" I totally rely on it to make me feel like a virtuous mom.

Jenn - MDH

My boy is doing the same thing (just turned 17 months). I was one who was all, "hooray, this child would eat one of the cats if I broke its legs".

The joke is on me now.

Everything he loved gets spit out, thrown at me, the dog and his father and his fork (his love is a fork, progressing from the spoon) is a fantastic projectile device.

He's getting taller and, good grief is he getting heavy, so I assume he's fine.

Molly

I did not have the patience to read what everyone above me said, so forgive me if I am repeating. My son has a very similar texture aversion to Noah's. And now at four, he still eats next to nothing. Nothing gooey, nothing wet-ish, nothing vegetable-ish. Pizza has tomato sauce. Grilled cheese has cheese. Flintstones vitamins have vitamins. I do what I can.

With my second child I was prepared to accept raising the two pickiest eaters on the planet. (He's just a little younger than Noah.) My second child? Eats everything. Sometimes I pass out and fall on the floor when he reaches out for more broccoli.

You're right about making it a thing. I made it a thing too, for a long time. Now I am tired and worn out, and I can't say I didn't try. He eats pizza, chicken nuggets (read: NOT chicken breast peices, only breaded nuggets,) waffles, peanut butter sandwiches, spaghetti, but ONLY if the sauce is mixed with the noodles and ONLY in the form of long noodles (none of this baked ziti bullshit) and only if the meatballs are actual baked meatballs, and never in the form of ground beef.

Give up. His body is programmed to not let itself starve. You'll feel better after a while, too.

Corinne

My kiddo is 15 months and we had to ask the doc about it today at his appointment. My kid eats 5 things... give or take 3 or 4 things on any give day. Our doctor said just keep trying. Hmm, she has no kids :) I hear ya.

Kobri

My almost-3 year old niece has no interest in meals whatsoever. She will eat, but never at meal times and rarely more than two bites so you get all excited that omg she wants to eat something! I am a miracle worker! It was my talent at preparing scrambled eggs or the way I unwrapped the cheese slice that has cured her of her food boredom, but two bites in when she changes her mind, it is devastating. I actually had to bribe her to eat a half a chocolate chip pancake. I mean what sane human being rejects a chocolate chip pancake and even after the first bite looks at you like it is such a chore and this promised gingerbread man had better be damn good?

GypsyMommy

Keep offering stuff up. My Girlie went through a similar thing years ago. Then all of a sudden out of the blue, at a holiday party she lifted her food ban. She started grabbing handfuls of food off the plates of the people sitting next to her. I was horriifed, but overjoyed at the same time.
I try to make things fun... make faces with the food or whatever, food coloring is fun for kids.
My Beastie Boy loves frozen veggies... everytime he hears the freezer open he runs... like a dog to a can opener.

Veronica

1. Things he can "dip". Eggs over easy with toast, graham crackers and yogurt, broccoli and cheese sauce, chips and salsa, anything and ketchup. My kids were very tactile and LOVED anything they could dip. Satisfies that 2 year old need for independence, too.

2. Don't cave! I have a 7-year-old nephew who will ONLY eat kraft singles, cottage cheese, hot dogs or plain applesauce. Keep trying anything and everything.

Good luck!

Kristen

I'm not a parent, but I am an aunt of two nieces, one of whom is just about three.

She eats sporadically. My sister just doesn't stress about it. Never has. Eh. Riley doesn't want to eat? After a couple of attempts, she shrugs, and that's it.

When Riley wants to eat? She eats. My sister doesn't haul shit out for her specially. Riley just sort of chows sometimes, and others, well, no. She drinks an ungodly amount of non-fat chocolate milk, which probably helps.

Noah will get over it. So will Riley. My six-year-old niece did. I have respect for a kid who decides when he/she wants to eat, when he/she's hungry, etc. Wish I could be as good about it. (Both kids are excellent about not eating too much, even when they looooove what's in front of them. Showoffs.)

And, by the way: Riley is about a billionth percentile in height and weight. Clearly, missing a meal ain't all that detrimental to anything.

Just roll with it, as much as you can.

countrymom

I forget how old he is.. but trust me, he's not going to starve to death.. give him whatever you were planning on .. when mealtime is over, take him out of the highchair and move on.. at some point he'll be so hungry he'll eat what you give him.. i've got 3 and they are all still alive!

Ellen

This doesn't count as advice, but...

My little brother was the king of the picky eaters. I think he lived on peanut butter covered waffles, chicken nuggets and the OCCASIONAL carrot for about six years. Meanwhile my sister (his twin) would drink 3 glasses of skim milk, eat one bite of whatever was on her plate and then skip merrily away.

This, too, shall pass. They are now totally healthy, well-adjusted 16 year olds who eventually learned to eat normally on their own, and Noah will too.

You're doing the best you can (said siblings STILL won't touch curry, so go Noah!) Just don't let Ceiba the Wonder Pursedog hoover up too much of what's left over, or you'll have to upgrade to a bigger Coach purse, and we all know how much of a torment that would be. :)

suecatty

Our rule has always been, "taste it once and if you don't like it, you don't have to eat anymore of it." However, that doesn't mean it won't show up on their plate again when I serve it for a meal. I read once that research says it takes 21-23 exposures to a food to develop a taste for it. My 8, 10 and 11 year old are now great eaters. My 10 year old asks for escargot for her birthday! I realize Noah is young for this but when mine "cook" it, they can't wait to eat it. You're a phenomenal mom - thanks for sharing!

RaeAnn

My almost 2 year old does the same thing. He'll eat nothing worth mentioning for a week, then one day he'll eat so much his belly feels like a tick ready to explode. Then nothing again. I offer him a supplement, like pediasure (spelling?) milkshakes every so often. He loves them, and I pretend that the nutrients in them make up for what he is missing the rest of the week.

Kristen

Also, I'm 37 and there are days when I eat cornichons (tiny sour gherkin pickles) and cheese for dinner. Like, my whole dinner, and 12 ounces of the pickles, which, WTF? So. Sometimes, you just want what you want. Right? Sooner or later, he'll move on.

Katie

One word: dipping. It has saved my sanity when it comes to meals with my 21 month-old son. Make the food interactive and it will do wonders for the things they'll eat! I swear tonight I put little dabs of ketchup on every bite of squash and he gobbled it up. Good luck!

Cara

Give him what he'll eat, then when meal time is over, take it away, whether or not he's eaten it. Trust me, you'll feel guilty and your heart will break, but he will eat when he's hungry. I agree with a previous poster that it sounds more like a toddler power trip. It's worked for me with 2 kids. Good luck!

MMM

My daughter ate a PB and J and yogurt every single day (almost) her Kindergarten year. She liked about 5 things, so we stuck with those! Worked for us. Once they started having hot lunches and her friends were eating other stuff, she tried it!
Maybe when it's mealtime, let him choose something from the fridge/cabinet, but that may start a whole new set of problems.

Dawn

OH MY GOSH!! I wish I could hop up and down from excitement here, because finally someone who has posted EXACTLY what I'm now going through!!!!! Oh, I bragged about how wonderful of an eater James was..still soooooorta is..and then BAM! He suddenly became very very picky in a matter of a day's difference. And now, here's the kicker- he won't drink milk. At all. Strawberry or chocolate flavoring addes..still no. So now I spend everyday going "oh no! He needs calcium! He needs more calcium!" It's driving me nuts! He used to drink milk like it was going out of style. Even the transition from formula to milk was a cinch. Now, not only is the milk an issue but he's very particular about his food. Basically, if it's not a banana (or in his words "bap") I'm screwed. Today he ate 2. LOL Oh, and I did try the Pediasure. Yeah. No luck there. Now I'm stuck with 11 bucks worth of that stuff. LOL So, basically..the only advice I can offer is to keep offering the foods to him that he used to really like. Because chances are, he'll come around and decide that he likes them again. And if that doesn't work I totally agree with the post from "Cara at 11:14pm". If he gets hungry enough he'll eat. I guess I'll have to endure that with James soon too. Good luck!!

elle

We too went through the "I'm going to use your head as target practice and don't even think of wearing anything nice because I'm just going to chuck it at you phase." I had a moment where my boy would not eat anything. 2 weeks in fact. I mean nothing. Not yogurt, not mac n cheese nothing. I was so pissed and frustrated I resorted to a bottle. Which he also wouldn't take. So finally I started feeding him exclusively. He had all feeding himself privileges revoked. 3 weeks after that he started eating again. Magically.

We have also resorted to the dipping method for new foods and the mash it into an unrecognizable consistency (for meat) and mix it into mashed potatoes or rice. I tried giving him green beens almost 20 times before he would even try them. Now their his favorite thing. (This week at least)

Mama T

Wow. Lots of advice. I have heard that there are two battles you will never ever win with kids. One is with toilet training. The other is with food. And someone up there commented already that kids are programmed to not let themselves starve. I think that's pretty sane advice. If you can live with it, try letting him eat what he'll eat and you eat what you want. Perhaps he'll see your food and think it looks good and interesting. Perhaps not. He won't die, he won't even lose weight. Have you heard "four food groups in four days"? That's a rule that makes the rounds north of the border.
A parenting guru I trust also suggests to stop snacking your child and then they will be really ready to eat when it's meal time. They'll be asking you for food.
Good luck and if you have a homemade waffle maker and he'll eat a waffle, you can sneak ALL kinds of things into the batter. just blend it up first before you cook it.

Julia

I was thinking that Wasabi Peas would pass his squish test. One of the two year olds I take care of eats them all the time- even though I find them a little strong! And they're a vegetable, so that counts! I think Whole Foods also sells those containers of freeze dried fruits and veggies- they would pass Noah's squish test, but still have nutrition.

Daily Tragedies

No advice whatsoever, but "Help me, Obi-Wan Internetobi" made me spit out my own dinner!

Black Belt Mama

My oldest daughter was like this. I swear she lived on noodles, chicken nuggets and hot dogs for two whole years. She'd also eat anything dipped in ranch dressing. I had a neighbor who put melted cheese on EVERYTHING her kids ate to make them eat it.

Hmm. . . things that don't squish. That is a tough order to fill though. What about very flat pizza or small frozen ravioli's since he seems to like the cold stuff.

I'd keep trying things he doesn't like now though because his tastes will change. I think I'm lucky because my second munchkin eats anything and EVERYTHING.

Just keep trying! And on the hummus front? I can't blame him for that one! ;-)

Meredith

I see that a couple of other people have mentioned Ellyn Satter. Seriously I can't recommend her enough. I used to work for the health department in Austin, TX. I worked on a program designed to improve the diets of children under the age of five(a traditionally picky crowd as you well know). Of all the approaches that I researched and worked with, Ellyn Satter's strategies were hands down the best. I love her "division of responsibilities" approach to feeding. I think that she gives parents great workable strategies that help them feel much more empowered and much less guilty about their children's eating habits. www.ellynsatter.com Check it out!

maricar

Malia still doesn't eat well. Some of my friends and family think it's our fault. Grrrr. This too shall pass. Please let it be. I think it's karma. I didn't eat much for the first 8 years of my life. Crazy.

*emily*

poor amalah...it's very frustrating isn't it? I wish I could tell you it gets easier, yet alas, my three and a half year old will only eat chicken nuggets french fries, and anything with a good helping of fake kraft parmasean cheese on top...but I have come to accept that eventually they will grow out of it, and also, shouldn't I be more worried that my one year old can say "McDonalds!" with perfect clarity? But again, I tell myself it will all be okay! Becuase I am a good mommy! and I make them take their vitamins! Seriously, the sour gummy flinstones make it so I can sleep at night, because my children! are! nuourished! Fred Flinstone said so!

lydia

Here's a thought: Puree some fruit, bananas are, i think, the most nutrient rich, then add the fruit to yogurt and real fruit juice... get a set of home popsicle makers (they're very inexpensive, Target and everywhere else sells them, mostly year round). Put the smoothie into those molds, let 'em freeze, then see if he'll dig a popsicle. That's all I got, but it works for many kids. Otherwise, ya gotta let it go, and let it pass, because it will, i swear.

lydia

Oh, i forgot... when she was about Noah's age, i remember sending a little container of, of all things, baked beans with her to eat at mother's day out. She wouldn't eat, oh, chunks of sandwich or cheese cubes, or easy little things like that... nope, it was baked beans foreva, scooped up with the hands. Very embarrassing, but passingly nutritious i guess. Have you tried beans? Some will squish a little, but mostly they're very firm of course, and you know they're great for him.

JB

Keep offering! I have this info from a nutritionist that says you may have to offer something 15-20 times before they will accept it. (Granted, you may go crazy around offer #11 or so, but sometimes they do just magically decide to try it.) Good luck! p.s. try the "snap pea crisps" or something like that from Trader Joe's. Sure they are kind of like chips but the first ingredient is PEAS. They are PEAS, right? This is what I tell myself since my 14 month old will not eat any regular vegetables.

Fairly Odd Mother

Could I steal your entire post but instead of 'food' replace it with 'sleep'? Does that make sense? If not, it's cuz I'm tired. Oh, and (weeping) my 'toddler' is 6. I'd take some checkbook eating anyday right now.

Mrs X

My son ate one half cup of macaroni and cheese tonight for dinner. Every last noodle. And I cheered. I consider it my victory for the year because I know that it will probably be the last full meal he has this year. It was the only full meal he had last year.
I offer him small things throughout the day. A handful of goldfish after nap; cheese before. A few slices of apple before bed.
I gave up freaking out over what he was putting in his mouth when I realized that he was enjoying watching push about it.
To make up for the things he's missing, we give him a can of pediasure.
This leaves plenty of time to wallow in parental guilt over other things. Like if it's really bad that it's noon and we're both still in pajamas and it's actually a really nice day out and maybe we should like, go outside. Where there is sun.

Emily

Ugh I have zero wisdome for you on this one Amy, I am in the same boat. But I just wanted to say thank you for writing about it, I just spent a ton of time reading all the comments. Great ideas, and I will be comming back to see how the little man does. My kid lives off of string cheese, and olives. Not exactly balenced eh.

vasilisa

My kid is exactly the same... He. Just. Won't. Eat... We are always in search of some magic food. And then we find it, and are all excited, only to have him fully reject it the next time... Sometimes he'll eat almost nothing for a few days in a row.
Basically, we now offer him whatever we are eating, randomly, and sometimes that does the trick. Sometimes it's chicken, sometimes it's pasta, sometimes junk...

Also, the magic trick for us is the fork. Not a spoon (hates it). The fork. Things he can poke. Try it... Just make sure it's a safe kiddy fork.

And if you find solution, please post. We need it too...

Jess

When I was two, I apparently shoved a raisin up my nose, so my mother took me to the emergency room (here's how you can tell I was a first-born. If it was my younger brother, she probably would have gone to get the camera...) where she was told to turn on the shower on full scalding heat and sit with me in the bathroom (not under the shower, obviously...) until the steam made it pop out of my nose.
Totally worked.
And now I hate raisins.

Try yogourt covered granola bars. Or really any granola bars. Chewy ones should be 'hard enough', and if all else fails, there are always those rock solid ones.

Maria

My sister was a picky eater too. One day she loved peanut butter and the next she hated it and so on. It was the same with all foods.

I think the following will pass the squish test:

Lightly steamed broccoli, carrots, snap peas, etc. (Raw may be too hard and thoroughly steamed may be too soft) Birds Eye Steamfresh yields firm veggies when cooked.
Frozen fruits slightly thawed. (Doles frozen raspberries, strawberries, cherries, and pineapple chunks)

Hang in there.

Jennifer

I remember a power struggle like this with my little one... and what it came down to was this: when he's hungry, he'll eat. And I imagine that once you don't give a damn, it won't be fun anymore and he'll stop playing with you.

However, that being said, I've been told not to cater to a child's whims. S/he should eat normally and depending on their age, like you. If he doesn't want what you're making, tough. He'll eat better next meal. (ie, don't make him a special plate of pasta because he doesn't want green beans)

When I was told this, I think my eyes dropped out of my head. But my kid could die of starvation!

He won't. He'll fold because it's in his interest to. Hang in there.

Carolie

I think you're a good mom, and Noah is a cute kid. Here's my assvice:

When we three were kids, the options were whatever Mom made for dinner, or an apple and a piece of bread with peanut butter. Period. All three of us went through a "not eating" stage, and now all three of us are incredibly healthy, very culinarily adventurous human beings.

Decide what the menu is, whether you choose to give him what you're having, or organic special expensive stuff, or (God forbid) chicken "nuggets" and pizza.

Put it in front of him at mealtimes. When mealtime is over, take it away.

Unless he begins losing weight (in which case, take him to the doctor), don't worry about it. Until about fifty years ago, people didn't cater to children's food power games, and there aren't any stories about toddlers starving to death because Ma and Pa couldn't offer Lunchables out on the prairie.

One in SIX Americans has an eating disorder -- which is about power, control and body image. And as far as I'm concerned, I'd rather a child chose not to eat at all than to eat high-fat, high-sodium, ultra-processed "chicken nuggets". EWWW.

Kyla

No big deal. 3 foods? Amazing!! My KayTar has crazy wild insane sensory aversions. She hates food. Sometimes the SIGHT of anything to eat sends her in to fights of gagging that start in B and end in ARF. And, well, EWWW. We have to push 3 Pediasures per day to get her CLOSE to her calories for the day...and it is HARD to get three Pediasures into here. Our only food at the moment is YoBaby fruit and cereal yogurt. *sigh* To have 3 foods!
I digress, stop caring so much, and he will, too. One thing the therapist tell us is to never make what she is eating an issue. Is she eats, YAY! If she refuses/gag/barfs, who cares?!? Just clean it up and move along. No reaction. So I do. But then? I also track her calories like a mad woman in my Excel spreadsheet.

So what I'm saying is: 3 foods he will willingly eat are a long way from the 1 container of YoBaby I can get into her each day. And Poker Face is a must. Keep giving smoothies and green juice and let the chips fall where they may...but secretly watch those calories to make sure he's getting enough.

kim at allconsuming

I can't imagine I'm going to say anything that the 63 people before me haven't. But with a child two weeks younger than Noah who is currently eating NOTHING, shaking his head vehemently, throwing food across the room and just basically surviving on air and bottles of milk, I SO HEAR YOUR.

WHY OH WHY WON'T THEY EAT!?!

Our first child would sit in the highchair and graze for as long as I felt like leaving him in the confines of being off the ground and in my control. He ate anything, still does except anything vaguely spicy.

The second one never ate anything until he could feed himself. The kid went from breast milk straight to plates of food that was just chopped up. AND you couldn't say anything. NOTHING. Oh, and no eye contact. Seriously, it was like feeding some lunatic in solitary confinement. If I so much as said "here's your dinner" or "eat up" or "yum yum" it was all over. He'd respond with screaming, total refusal to even try it and then, ideally, a very impressive throw of the plate, the food, the world, across the room. It was seriously a very painful time. Years of therapy and anti-depressants helped me.

And low, the third child came to pass. He started with the same promise as the first child. And has slowly become the second. He used to vacuum down a bowl of weetbix, yoghurt and stewed fruit every.single.morning. Then there'd be the piles of pureed veggies and everything in between.

Then all was abandoned. We moved into eating crackers. Cruskits were a favourite, and then water crackers, and then some rice crackers.

We discovered vegemite and seriously, I could probably give this kid a teaspoon just of vegemite and he'd down it. But I have issues with giving him some salt-induced kidney disease at such a tender age.

Then there were grapes. Oh no, we wouldn't eat them, just put them in our mouths, masticate them for a while and then just spit them out. We do the same with sultanas.

I was starting to worry maybe he had some swallowing disability.

But now? Nothin'. It's doing my head it.

BUT - I have power.
Because I breed.
I have learnt the power of parental domination.

You don't make a big deal of it. It's impossible for a toddler to let themselves starve. Even though even I struggle with that as I watch my child survive on little more than milk and air.

So, you keep putting the same and different foods in front of them every single day.

You don't make a big deal of it, and you do it in little bits - not overwhelming moments.

So mini micro meals throughout the day. And a range of options - pureed stuff, smoothies, sandwiches, chopped up normal dinner, small pieces of fresh fruit.

And low it came to pass, this morning, the non-eater? Ate an entire slice of toast, with butter and strawberry jam. Sure, it was in the car on the way to work, but maybe that was it - there was little distraction, I wasn't really paying attention, I just kept throwing bits of bread at him as he'd grunt for more.

It was a stunning moment.

I am sure tomorrow he will refuse it with the force of satan, but today, today was good.

yet another from the legions of Amys

Ditto what a lot of others said. Not that I would know how to deal with this from personal experience (my baby's only 9 months and doesn't even eat food yet and is still completely breastfed), but a good friend of mine has two kids, aged 6 and 12, who are TERRIBLE eaters largely because the parents made that weird toddler eating phase a thing. The 12 year old is in therapy for her eating disorder and has been for several years. She will only eat one brand of pasta for dinner, and only plain. And she won't eat with the rest of the family. Wow, sorry for the horror story!

Flo

oLIVES!

Exiled to Canada

Our little guy, who is almost 4, only eats chicken strips (and only the ones from a restaurant nearby, none o' that frozen shit ma), apples (only gala and only sliced), gold fish crackers and cheerios (these two must be mixed together) and occasionally Puffins cereal and milk. When he was Noah's age, he would only eat macaroni and cheese (the Whole Foods brand frozen kind). So we feel your pain.
The only advice I have is keep trying new foods but offer them with things he likes. We try to get our son to take one bite of everything on his plate and then we just don't watch him eat. If he sees us paying attention, he will flatly refuse to eat anything, it's totally a power struggle. Oh and we've started supplementing him with a multi-vitamin. You might ask the pediatrician about that.

Abby

I'm going through the same thing..and have been for a while. But sadly..kids have been known to survive on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches if that's all they'll eat. I found these 2 books on my bookshelf that my mom passed along to me before I even had kids. She had 9 of us..so I took a peek.

Feed Me I'm Yours
and
The Taming of the C.A.N.D.Y Monster


They both have nutritious toddler friendly food ideas.

Hope it helps!

meowmix

Haven't commented in a long while, but I'm still a faithful reader. I haven't read any of the other comments so forgive me if I repeat others. The best advice I've heard is it's your job to offer him food, but it's his job to eat it. I give my kids some of what they like and some that I'm not sure about, and leave them alone. My almost 4 yr old goes through phases where he won't eat certain things, but I keep putting them in front of him and eventually he eats it. My 13 month old gets the same treatment and once she starts throwing stuff on the floor I clean her up and meal time is over. They will not starve!! Kids get by on very little food, I promise! Also, with mine I have noticed they are much more accepting of new foods when they are actually hungry, so I really try to limit snacks in between meals. If Noah is snacking alot you can't really expect him to eat much more than a snack size serving for a meal. 3 big meals or 6 small "snack" meals equal out to the same amount of food. Up to you and Noah how you want to do it! I prefer 3 meals because it's easier for me!

heather b

isn't it like...like with my cat? I put the food down, if he gets hungry, he'll eat it.

maybe you should give noah some little friskies.

Kelly

Oh yes, the food power-struggle. Mine's 2.5yrs and his list is growing shorter and shorter. We've TOLD HIM time and again that if he just would ASK we'll give him just about anything he wants (I draw the line at chocolate/candy and cookies as meals and no ice cream until after anything else first). Right now he asks for oatmeal for almost every meal (the added brown sugar and cocoa don't detract from the healthy fibre part). Peaches from the can are another favourite. I could list others that used to be but aren't favourites anymore, but that would take forever. Keep trying and trust that he won't starve himself and eventually he'll broaded the list. At least his sole food choice isn't carrots, right? An orange Noah might get some funny looks for you at playdates.

Julie

I haven't read all those comments up there, but I suspect that this may be contrary to some of the advice.

I had a seventeen pound one year old. She refused to eat when in her high chair. She didn't want me to feed her. She did all the things Noah is doing. Her ped suggested this: fill up a muffin tray with various healthy and not so healthy foods that won't spoil and leave it out where she can get to it. I put it on her little IKEA table.

I also took her out of that dreaded highchair and put her in a booster at the table. She sat with us when we ate and the muffin tray came along. I offered her some of what we were eating. If it was refused (read toddler screaming), I just shrugged it off.

She gained weight. Yes, she is still picky, but at least she ate something and I wasn't spending my days fighting with someone who couldn't speak in complete sentences.

warcrygirl

My oldest used to eat pretty much everything I put in front of him, then he started rejecting anything with a slimy texture, i.e. all fruits and vegetables. The summer before last he licked a piece of watermelon, that's the closest he's come to eating fruit. Neither of my kids will touch milk but they eat cheese and yogurt with abandon. Try some of those Gogurts, you just suck them out of the top of the tube; no spoon! ALSO: try pureeing any fruits and veggies and sneaking them into foods he will like, or just feed him some V8 juice. Never fear, the kid looks quite healthy.

kookaloomoo

Take heart Amalah. My Lili is 6 weeks older than Noah. Oh, what an ordeal meals can be! What I have come to realize is that this is a power struggle, pure and simple. Well, and also, the whole going through phases thing is just normal toddler development. Noah is just experimenting and trying to figure out his world. I guarantee that he won't starve to death, and he won't end up malnourished. He and Lili are still too young to have their weird eating habits scar them for life, so don't freak if he's not eating a "well balanced diet" every day. Offer him what you and Jason are having, and be done. Use every fiber of your strength and stubbornness to not care whether he eats it or not, and know that when he's hungry enough, he will.

Kristine

What about dried fruits and vegetables in addition to the frozen ones? I happen to love wasabi peas, but maybe they have some (I haven't looked) without the wasabi...or maybe he'll like the wasabi? But those don't squish.

I have a friend whose daughter went through an only pink food phase (she was a girl, she must only eat pink things)...so bologna...ham...strawberry flavored stuff...and I'm out of ideas. She just went with it, and her daughter eventually grew out of it.

Theresa

I think you are right - it is a Thing. Noah won't eat because you react to him not eating. That's fun!

I agree with the other posters who said give him what you give him, if he eats, cool and if not, cool. But don't make a deal either way. When mealtime is over, its over. Repeat at next mealtime.

He won't starve, my daughter didn't.

Mrs. Q.

My little guy did the same thing when he realized he had a choice with food: (a) eat it or (b) hurl it at my head. I freaked until my girlfriend told me what her pediatrician said. Basically, toddlers are like snakes. They can seem like they are starving themselves for days, eat a rat, and then be OK. So as long as Noah's eating something every now and then, don't fret. Once he has a growth spurt, it will all even out. My man is now 22 months and he doesn't have rickets. Or scurvy. Yet.

Mo

Uh oh..

"and I was Great with Smug, for behold! My child eats Indian food! And falafel! No children's menu chicken fingers for US!** "

is me... so you mean my 14 month old great eater could turn into a picky toddler? The horror.

Hillarie

So sorry if this has been mentioned already. Since he likes drinkable yogurt this may works for getting fruit in him.

Make a smoothie with a banana, milk and some yogurt in a blender- no ice needed.

Instead on banana we use frozen peaches, bluberries and strawberries are ok but will clog up the sippy cup plastic valve thingy.

Also, I will not judge if you feed him in front of the TV. Maybe he will eat without realizing it.

Katie Kat

Yep... been there, hurled 4-letter, angry rantings at the Universe (accompanied by fist shaking). But, you haven't yet had the joy of experiencing the phenomenon of your toddler finally finding something they LOVE to eat (I mean LOVE LOVE LOVE to eat), and in your state of joy, you go and buy a 10-year supply of said food, only to have the toddler shun the favorite food that very day. Even if you've waited WEEKS to buy in bulk, your toddler WILL pick that very day to spit out said food in defiance, leaving you with approximately 250 pounds of cheddar cheese; or Nilla wafers; or Veggie Booty (THANKS FOR THAT ONE SWEETNEY!).

Anyway, I just keep shoving things in front of her. So far fruit is a continuing favorite, as is ANY pasta with red sauce (but GOD FORBID I try mac and cheese), grapes have been on and off the list for months, and now cereal bars are apparently nirvana.

Just gotta hang in there babe... and have a glass of wine (throw away all your clocks so you don't notice that it's only 9a.m.).

:)

Tracey

LA LA LA LA!!!! with fingers in my ears, cuz just COMMENTING here may change my fantastic eater 1 year old into her brothers, "Those who will not eat." Yes, they are thin. Yes, I do place food in front of them. No, they do not eat it. How do they grow? Beats the hell out of me. BUT I have given up the argument. I don't stress at Christmas anymore. I KNOW they won't eat at parties and functions, and so I feed them their small list of food at home, prior. No squishy food (except mac n cheese for both and the other will eat oatmeal and yogurt), nothing that is any strange color (i.e. green, or red, or well, not white/tan) Nothing that is melted for my oldest (including, but not limited to: ice cream, Jell-o, chocolate, etc.) I feel your pain. It MAY get better. It may get worse. I have no advice. I have done NOTHING differently with my daughter and she is a marvelous eater. Seriously, it does me good to know that I can raise (so far) at least ONE CHILD who will eat real food.

Good luck.

Marie

You know, he looks very healthy... so something's sticking to his ribs!

I swear, for months my son ate bananas and milk. And an occasional cracker.

Then he decided he liked peanut butter & jelly on wheat. Lo and behold! The mama was THRILLED. Lots and lots of PB&J (the healthy-made stuff). Yesterday? Wouldn't eat the PB&J. "It's too sticky!" WHAT THE &*$%#?!

Noah will come around. Do you ever bring favorite toys to the table? They like to eat good food -- at least in our house. Then suddenly there's an interest "But it's MINE!"... Two can play that psych game! ;-)

Kirsten

My mom tells me that my brother went for a year not eating anything that wasn't covered in syrup (pancakes, waffles, and the occasional perfectly cooked french toast). And now the Karma... his son exsists on a diet of yogurt, special K and ( this is good) strawberries, eats them everyday , every meal, of his life and he is 4. Except sometimes when very hungry he will allow the occaisional cheese pizza, or hamburger, or chicken fingers, usually when they are eating out. Honestly I think he gives them hell at home because they make such a fuss about it. He would eat if they would just leave him alone and he does, but only when he is hungry.

Jess

Longtime lurker here, but this post hit close to home so I wanted to comment.

My son was the same way at this age. He followed what my pediatrician called The Great White Diet: pasta (plain), yogurt, and some cheese. Cheerios here and there. Those were the mainstays. He also would eat grapes and more Gerber fruit snacks than I care to admit.

We added chicken the day he consented to eat a fully processed dinosaur chicken nugget. He ate them daily for a while . . . and I --first time mom who declared never to let anything like a nugget past his lips--served them faithfully and sent my husband to the store for them at night if it looked like we'd be low for the next day.

My son is now 7 and eats a huge assortment of chips and cookies and other junk foods that he'd never touch as a toddler. But, he also eats fish, steak, veggies, fruits . . . generally a healthy diet with some fun moderately thrown in. He continues to try new things (mainly because we threaten him. Just kidding. Well . . . sort of), is beginning to realize it won't hurt him, and has recently developed a love of yellow peppers. And crab legs.

It is so hard to just let it go, but trust that if you offer a variety of things (without totally stressing yourself out . . . chicken nuggets are not the worst thing in the world) he'll eat when he's hungry. I'm nursing a three month old now, and I've had to put that same trust in him that he knows when he's done and when he's hungry (bottle fed my other two).

Best of luck and don't beat yourself up about it . . . my book long comment is now over and I've officially de-lurked.

Carrie

First off, I have spent the past weeks at work reading your archives and all I can say is Thank you. so many of your fears and stuff are mine. and reading your stories and the eventual outcome has been helpful to me.

But now on to the food issues. I dont have a child, but when my brother was four all he would eat was hot dogs. my mom tried everything, including talking to the doctor who told her my brother would just one day get sick of them. well it took about a year. yes, he ate almost soley hot dogs for a year! but today he eats anything and even brings home healthy recipes involving fish for my mom to make. so in the end Noah will be fine...because the most important thing is that you two are giving him love and safety and security. and that is what a child needs to grow. (though your frustration is warranted and understandable! hope this isnt assvice!!!)

Sadie

It seems like you've gotten lots of good advice here, as well as plenty of commiseration. I don't have any children so perhaps my advice should be taken with a grain of salt, but I remember well being a picky eater as a small child. My mother remedied that with a hardline approach - she slapped down a plate, and if I didn't like/eat what was on the plate, that was not her problem. I had to sit at the table for a set amount of time (say 15 minutes), and then I was free to go. But there were no snacks or treats later if I didn't eat what I was given, no matter how hungry I was. In fact, if I whined that I was hungry she would usually offer me the same exact meal I had rejected earlier in the evening. It seemed unspeakably cruel to me at the time, but I have never been a picky eater since.

Caroline

I am going to preface this by saying I am not a parent. I was, however, once a child, with siblings, and now have a niece and nephews and know lots of kids, if that gives me any credibility : ) That being said, when I was a kid, meals were what meals were. There were no special meals made for anyone - the kids were given the exact same meal as the adults. If we didn't eat it, that was our prerogative, but we were not given any alternate options, nor were we allowed snacks later. As a child of course you think it's terribly mean, but my mom tells me it saves a lt of sanity as a parent.

Karen

Please, please, please don't make food a big deal. I did with my oldest--he went through the same power struggle thing, and i remember screaming at him to EAT DAMMIT and making him sit at the table until he ate. Then he went through a scary nearly year-long phase where he wouldn't eat and wasn't growing. He's past that now and is a healthy six year old, but I am determined to NOT repeat that with my two year old. All you can do is offer healthy food (don't put syrup or sweet stuff on it please!) and eventually he'll eat.

Kids learn from watching. If he sees you eating a variety of healthy foods and enjoying them, it will be "Monkey see, monkey want" eventually.

Robyn

Have you tried a spork?

Seriously, if it weren't for peanut butter my daughter would have starved. Kept putting the good stuff in front of her, and eventually she ate it. She's a healthy 15 now.

My son got his first taste of real food at five months, and thereafter NO MUSHY STUFF ALLOWED. No pureed anything, no mashed potatoes, no macaroni. Serve up the steak, woman! I don't care if I got no teeth! He's a healthy 13 now.

This too shall pass.

TSM

Ya know, I wasn't goin to leave a comment, because you have a HUGE following and I'm sure someone has a great response.

But if I could re-train my kids from toddlerhood, I would listen to my husband more. He would always insist that we drawn a hard line about food. We are the parents, not them. If we place food in front of them, they are simply not allowed to throw it or say no. They have to take no-thank-you bites before saying they don't want it. Or else.

I know it sounds harsh, and that picking your battles is important, but knowing what I know now? I would pick this one, personally.

Wacky Mommy

We have two rules at our house, no four, in regards to food: 1) It's my job to put the food in front of them 2) It's their job to eat it 3) No swapping jobs and 4) You git what you git and you don't have a fit.

Kristen

Everyone says Q is a great eater -- she does eat a fair variety -- but I do give her what I know she will eat. She's hesistant to try new things unless they are an ice cream flavor.

I say, rotate them through and if they don't work, try them again later -- changing palates and I think texture has a lot to do with things as well.

ambrosia

Toddlers. I swear.

The other night I made mashed cauliflower and was feeding my child spoonfuls of it while I was still preparing dinner. Things were going great . . . until I squatted down to his level and he was able to look in the bowl. He refused to eat anymore after that. I just don't get it.

mimi smartypants

How does one eat yogurt that's not on a spoon? Because my mind is going some scary places with that one.

honestyrain

i have two children. one will eat anything you put in front of him and has always been an absolute joy to feed. the other will not. she is almost four and showing only small signs of broadening her eating horizons. they were both raised by the same people in the same house with the same food and rules etc. it's just who she is and fighting against who a person is is FUTILE.

accept his eating habits. continue to offer new things of course but don't take it seriously at all. hey wanna try this? no? alright. well it's here if you change your mind. because spending every minute of every day trying to convince someone to do something they really don't want to do at a basic human level is just silly.

he's not unwell, he's fine. he may be a drag at dinner parties with his nose in the air at the lovely food being offered but he's fine.

Adela

I think it is a power struggle all the way. Yes, it has a bit to do with the food but they are also testing us. My daughter was a great eater and one day she decided she had given me enough happiness in that area. My SIL told me she had been experiencing the same thing but when a friend fed her daughter she ate great. Sure enough, that night I left my daughter with a sitter and when I came home she complimented me on what a great eater my daughter was. I couldn't believe it. So now I leave her food on the high chair and wash the dishes, pick up, etc. When she wont eat anymore, I pick up the tray and take it - no comments, no smiles, no frowns - very matter-of-fact. She is eating much better than when I would stand around helping, feeding, agonizing.

Obi-Wan Internetobi

You kind of are making it a thing...stop making youself a food slave to a toddler (you'll live longer)

At breakfast time give him 2 or 3 choices (cheerios, bananas and frozen berries for instance) leave him to it for 15 mins or so and then say "breakfast is over" and clean it up and take him somewhere to play. If he whines that he's hungry say "lunch time is in a little while" and don't offer him anything except a drink until then. Same thing at lunch, 15 or 20 minutes, 2 or 3 choices and then time's up...

When he sees that you aren't doing the "please please eat this" dance anymore he'll eat when he's hungry.

Trust me, it works.

Zu

Ah, memories. My oldest will still not eat squishy foods(he is 23) but he eventually learned to love veggies so it's ok if he hates pasta. My second ate only pancakes with ketchup for an entire year; he was 19 the first time he willingly chose to eat a vegetable. Anyway, my point is that they have always been healthy and well. It is frustrating and more than a little scary to see your kids eat so weirdly, but don't worry and definitely don't let it become a Power Thing. You are doing a great job.

Occidental_Girl

First of all, I know what this feels like. Second of all, yes, it sucks and gives you wrinkles.

I say that because the other thing I'm going to say is, don't worry about it. And after you've read that you might want to smack me. But seriously? It doesn't matter so much what kids eat in a day as what they've had in a week. If you can get some veggies in him during the week, great! Keep offering what he likes, adding a veggie or fruit once in a while.

The food fussiness is a phase. It lasts forever, but the foods involved change. I'm in the six year old fussy phase, which is different only that she can tell me in English that no fucking way is she going to eat that squishy ricotta, crazy mama!

Anyway, he'll be back to eating hummus and Indian food and things again, just not this moment. :D Hang in there.

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